Sunday, Nov 17, 2019
 
search SGN
SERVING SEATTLE AND THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST FOR 43 YEARS!

click to visit advertiser's website


Javascript DHTML Drop Down Menu Powered by dhtml-menu-builder.com

Last Weeks Edition
   
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 




 

 
 

 

 

[Valid RSS]

click to go to advertisers website
to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, September 29, 2017 - Volume 45 Issue 39
Crowd-pleasing Battle of the Sexes wins in straight sets
Arts & Entertainment
ALL STORIES
  next story
Crowd-pleasing Battle of the Sexes wins in straight sets

by Sara Michelle Fetters - SGN A&E Writer

BATTLE OF THE SEXES
Now playing


Its hard not to watch Battle of the Sexes and not view it through the dingy, muck-covered veil of current events. The story of a smart, successful and talented woman who battles against misogyny, sexism and current social mores in order to prove she has every right to expect and to warrant equal acclaim and payment as any man would demand, if any movie was made for the here and the now it is this one. But this isnt the tale of a presidential election or the saga of a man using every dirty trick at his disposal, including stooping to race baiting and social intolerance, to belittle and divide an unthinking base of supporters to follow his every whim no matter how absurd or idiotic they might turn out to be. No, this is a dramatic reenactment of a male-female tennis match that captured the attention of the world back in 1973, sadly proving once again that the more things change the more age-old biases and the inability of those stuck in beliefs and ideas from another day frustratingly remain the same.

Working from a sensational, intimately layered script written by Simon Beaufoy (Slumdog Millionaire, The Full Monty) and directed with dexterous skill by Little Miss Sunshine impresarios Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, this empowering, exuberantly enthusiastic motion picture creates such a palpable sense of joy in the viewer it gives one hope things really will turn out for the better sooner rather than later. The story of the iconic contest of determination and skill between tennis players Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs that culminated in a match watched by an estimated 90-million people, the beauty of the film is its aggressive, unforced simplicity. Dayton and Faris dont pull their punches but at the same time still strike a cheery balance between ferocity and compassion, in the process crafting a gloriously unfinished symphony of melancholic euphoria I unquestionably adored.

The Tennis Battle of the Sexes was the tagline given to the tennis match between 29-year-old womens superstar King (Emma Stone) and 55-year-old former mens champion Riggs (Steve Carell), but their contest wasnt actually the first of its kind. Even though she was his second choice, Riggs managed to convince Australian champion and new womens number one Margaret Court (Jessica McNamee) to play him first. His thorough domination of her forced King to rethink her reticence to take part in an event she considered nothing more than an uncouth three-ring circus. The athletic star and growing feminist icon understood that, while for Riggs this was nothing more than a rowdy bit of performance art engineered to put him back in the public eye, for women and their fight for equality the event was a pivotal turning point that could prove disastrous if she were to be trounced in the same way Court was.

But Beaufoys clever script doesnt paint such a black and white picture. Just as King was helping engineer a place for women in professional tennis outside of the male-dominated edicts of the day, she was also coming to terms with her own sexuality, an unanticipated relationship with hairdresser Marilyn Barnett (Andrea Riseborough) happening at the very moment she knew she needed to be spending as much time as possible focusing on her game. As for Riggs, he was a man who longed to return to the spotlight, a one-time household name who now felt like a forgotten tennis footnote, who wanted to make a new mark before any realistic chance to do so was lost to him forever.

It is these differences, these competing agendas, that make up the crux of the story, not the climactic tennis match. Unsurprisingly, Beaufoys screenplay spends a bit more time on King and her relationship with Barnett than it does on analyzing all that was taking place in Riggss world. Still, its easy to get a feel for his insecurities, the shame he feels when he cant live up to being the man his wife Priscilla (Elisabeth Shue) believes he could be, all of that filtered through a lens of a changing world rushing to pass men like him by whether they want it to or not. There are some beautiful, heartfelt moments that transpire during this portion of the story, the emotional components always working on multiple character-driven levels throughout the story.

Yet it is still Stone and her depiction of King that is the films undeniably flawless element. As amazing as the actress was last in year in La La Land, winning a much-deserved Academy Award for her efforts, she is even more incredible here, delivering what to my mind is, up to now, at least, the best performance of her career. The level of interior nuance, how she is able to convey so much just by the way she moves her body, trembles a lip or reaches longingly for a caress shes terrified shell never be able to publicly experience, all of it is sensational. I was fascinated by Stone, her performance building in ways that are continually surprising, all of which helps make her resilience and fortitude during the climactic tennis match all the more emotionally affecting.

Theres a subplot involving Riggss eldest son Larry (Lewis Pullman) that never quite comes alive, while Kings relationship with her devoted husband Larry (Austin Stowell) is almost too tender and reserved to a fault. Neither of these subplots connected with me as much as I wanted them to, and even though both have a number of strong moments, overall each is depicted with such timid restraint I found it difficult to care about anything either man was currently going through. I also wasnt entirely taken with composer Nicholas Britells (Moonlight) omnipresent score, the filmmakers utilizing it in a manner I sometimes felt was unnecessary, allowing music to intrude upon scenes where to my mind silence might have been best.

Still, Battle of the Sexes is extraordinary. Carell and especially Stone are marvelous, while Dayton and Fariss direction is consistently stellar, reminding me why it is I adore Little Miss Sunshine as much as I do, while also wishing the pair would step behind the camera more often than once every five or six years. As for Beaufoys script, it is one of 2017s best, his story achieving a vivacious immediacy thats downright spectacular. Together, theyve all journeyed back to 1973 to tell a story no one should forget about and, in light of recent events, sure as heck should take the time to learn something from. Ignorant bullies weaponizing sexism, homophobia and racism deserve to be silenced, and whether theyre on the tennis court, inside the corporate boardroom or even, heaven forbid, in the gosh darn White House, its about time we all follow Billie Jean Kings example and do whatever we can to shut them up, hopefully this time for good.

Tell a friend:

Share on Facebook  Share on Facebook

Post to MySpace!Share on MySpace!

    Share on Delicious

Share on StumbleUpon!

Seattle Men's Chorus & Seattle Women's Chorus create harmony in a noisy world with their 2017-2018 Season
------------------------------
October openings are full of brand-new plays
------------------------------
Pacific Northwest Ballet opens new season with George Balanchine's 'Jewels'
------------------------------
Forward Flux Productions presents two new one-act plays
------------------------------
Fashion Week at The Bellevue Collection
------------------------------
Tutta Bella takes first place again this year in GSBA's 'Taste of Svedka' cocktail competition
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------
Janet Jackson returns to impressive form with exciting Key Arena show
------------------------------
TWIST: Seattle Queer Film Festival launches October 12
------------------------------
Crowd-pleasing Battle of the Sexes wins in straight sets
------------------------------
Overeager Friend Request needs to be deleted
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

click to visit advertiser's website

click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
 
 
 
 

gay news feeds gay news readers gay rss gay
http://sgn.org/rss.xml | what is RSS? | Add to Google use Google to set up your RSS feed
SGN Calendar For Mobile Phones http://sgn.org/rssCalendarMobile.xml
SGN Calendar http://sgn.org/rssCalendar.xml

Seattle Gay News - SGN
1707 23rd Ave
Seattle, WA 98122

Phone 206-324-4297
Fax 206-322-7188

email: sgn2@sgn.org
website suggestions: web@sgn.org

copyright Seattle Gay News 2017 - DigitalTeamWorks 2017

USA Gay News American News American Gay News USA American Gay News United States American Lesbian News USA American Lesbian News United States USA News
Pacific Northwest News in Seattle News in Washington State News